Interning During the School Year

Interning During the School Year

One of the main reasons I came to Barnard was to have the opportunity to have an internship during the school year, something that, since I want to work in book publishing, can only happen in New York. I was lucky to find an internship this semester (as a second-semester freshman!) and have spent the past two months navigating the difficulty of juggling my school and work life. I intern twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays--Tuesday for half the day, and Friday all-day. I thought I’d share my experience by taking you through my Tuesdays, a day when I both work and go to class.

On Tuesdays, I wake up around 8 or 8:30 and force myself out of bed thanks to three alarms.  Since none of the dining halls that I like are open yet (I’m strictly Diana Center Cafe or John Jay breakfast girl) I have some instant oatmeal in my room. Then, I get ready and head down to the subway around 9:15. I take a book with me on the Subway, usually, to make use of the forty-five-minute commute in both directions! Lately, I’ve been reading The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad for my English class, “The Modern Novel.”

I work on 21st Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, right below the Flatiron Building. It’s an incredible area to work in because it’s chalk-full of restaurants, shopping (I’m half a block from a Trader Joe’s and all of the Fifth Avenue shopping!) and things to do. Some of my favorite places to grab lunch at on my lunch break are By Chloe, Bite, and Eataly.

I’m interning at a literary agency this semester, and I do mainly managerial office tasks for them: filing, mailing, and whatever projects they need help with that day. It’s been a great experience so far because I’ve been able to not only learn about literary agencies but also about the publishing business as a whole by talking with people at the agency and overhearing conversations.

On Tuesdays, I’m at work until about one o’clock, and then I grab lunch and head back to campus around 1:30. Usually, I get back around 2, and then I change out of my work clothes, check in with friends, and head to my 2:40 class, “Introduction to European History: 1789-Present.” This is the start of the slightly rough part of my Tuesdays--I have three classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and don’t get out until eight o’clock at night. I have “Introduction to Psychology” from 4:10-5:25, and then a short break (which is usually a snack and finishing homework break) and then “German: Elementary 2” from 6:10-8.

After this, I’m usually exhausted and brain-dead, so I grab some dinner at John Jay or Diana (the only places open after eight!) and then do a bit of reading for my Wednesday classes. It’s a bit of a crazy day, but I’ve found that it’s worth it and definitely doable. I really take advantage of my weekends and get most of my big assignments done then so I have more time during the week to sleep, exercise, and see my friends.

Being able to intern in New York during the school year is a huge advantage of being at Barnard. I have tons of friends who are interning with politicians, big corporations, and small non-profit organizations while also going to school, so it’s definitely not out of the ordinary and possible. Let me know if you have any questions about interning at ws2439@barnard.edu--I’d be happy to answer them!

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